Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

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  • Reviewed March 2010
    Anonymous

    AEGEAN FAMILY CRUISE - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    I had always wondered what it would be like to cruise idly around a few Greek islands, and Exodus' trip on a traditional wooden Caique seemed ideal. I think we all agreed that it was the laziest holiday that most of us had ever had, with a choice of reading, swimming off the boat, or visiting sleepy Greek fishing villages, and definitely no driving! A very relaxing trip in a beautiful location.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably just having lots of time to relax in such beautiful surroundings. At home, life is generally quite frantic but on the boat we could laze on the decks, go swimming and snorkelling and enjoy some leisurely excursions on shore. My daughter and I both enjoyed the company of the three other families who helped make this a most enjoyable trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Roger provided much of the entertainment in the evenings with his awful jokes and anecdotes, and even kept the children amused teaching them new card games.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't worry too much about it being hot. We travelled in August and once we got out towards Evia, the temperature was lovely. Most days it was quite breezy which helped keep us cool and we could always dunk ourselves in the sea.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It was nice to see all the children amusing themselves without the aid of TV or computer games. All in all, it was a relaxing trip that allowed everyone to unwind. If you enjoy reading, make sure you bring a good book or two!
  • Reviewed February 2010
    Anonymous

    CLASSIC CUBA

    A wonderful place of contrasts but fast reaching a tipping point where the way in which the Cuban government has chosen to develop tourism may turn it into a pastiche of it's self.Havana can be surprisingly quiet late at night when the armband brigades get back on their buses to their all inclusive compounds We booked the Comfort Option which is NOT luxury although we spent time in Cuba before and after the trip and luxury accomodation is definitely available. The hotel in Vinales was a filthy frog infested hotel . I feel that Exodus really skimped on the accomodation. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A night in one of Hemmingway's many haunts with a fantastic band playing Una Gardenia Para Me.....Sunset and Sunrise in Cayo Las Brujas

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have very mixed feelings re the tour leader... In some ways he tried very hard with a disparate group of people but he let his impatience show on a number of occasions and almost took it personally if there was something you did not like about the food /hotel etc you felt like he wanted to avoid complaints at all costs. He had good local knowledge but  you felt that he was not really free to speak. I got the distinct impression that he was overqualified for and somewhat bored by his job.   

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We booked the "comfort" option for this holiday as it was our Honeymoon. We had a wonderful time, but were very disappointed by the standard of hotel chosen. We stayed in Cuba before and after the tour and had lovely accomodation (so it is available) The only luxury hotel on the trip is the Iberostar in Trinidad . Although we had said long before we left that it was our honeymoon, we frequently were given a twin room. In the two hotels where we got "double" bed it was made with single sheets and the STAINED matresses were exposed on both sides :-(I have done other tours with exodus before, and obviously they get other things very right but I always find that they skimp on the standard of hotel.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You won't get fat on the cuisine in Cuba but the Rum makes up for it ! Seek out the locals salsa club in Trindad not the one at the "STEPS" w.hich is packed with tourists
  • Reviewed February 2010
    Anonymous

    LAKES, WINES & WATERFALLS

    An enjoyable holiday but let down by the lack of leadership and optional excursions.  The standard of hotels and organisation was adequate overall but was not what might be expected for a Premium Adventure.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing Iguazu falls from the air in a helicopter and closer up from the ground.  Osorno volcano was also impressive.  For me visiting Colonia in Uruguay was a high point although not part of the itinerary.The wine tasting sessions near Mendoza were very enjoyable with a fabulous lunch at the end.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dennis (a local from Buenos Aires) was very kind, helpful and thoughtful until we got to Buenos Aires, when he almost deserted us.  He did arrange our evening entertainments and the group airport transfer but was not with us on the group's last night meal or the transfer.  Amazingly he did not take people's insurance details - one of my group asked him for his mobile number in Buenos Aires in case of problems there.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I definitely recommend visiting Colonia by boat from Buenos Aires, and staying overnight there if you have extra time - it's a lovely place, much quieter than Buenos Aires.  Be aware that the return boat may be full and allow for catching a later one if you have an open return ticket.It was very hot in the sun at Iguazu - protect yourself against the heat there or other places. Exercise caution with the hotel buffet at Iguazu - I had a slight upset the next day.  

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A big disappointment was no opportunity to visit an estancia for a reasonable price.  We were offered a visit to one near Mendoza at an excessive price, and the only other option there was white-water rafting.  I chose the latter and the van collecting us arrived over two hours after the promised time - by this time I had no confidence in that local agent and refused to go. The trip notes promised an estancia visit from Buenos Aires at a fair price but we were not offered this.  The only option we got was a self-guided boat trip to Tigre which was pleasant but not the best attraction.More attention to detail is needed plus the support of the leader right through to the end of the trip.  Buenos Aires was large and quite intimidating at first - we needed more leader support there.   
  • Reviewed February 2010
    Anonymous

    TIGERS AND CRICKET SAFARI WITH PAUL GOLDSTEIN

    Bandhavgarh National Park has got to be the best place to view tigers in India, if you are thinking about booking this trip don't hesitate just do it!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many, but the look on my fellow travellers' faces on seeing the first tiger stands out.  Another was spending quality time watching a young female tiger walking down the road towards us, the fact that there was only one other vehicle around made it very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The behind the scenes work by our leaders (Paul and Balvinder) was terrific, there were major train delays due to fog and they still managed to get everyone back to Dehli in time to catch our flight.  They worked tirelessly on our behalf to get the best out of our time in Bandhavgarh together with the fantastic driver/wildlife guides in the National Park.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It can get extremely cold in Bandhavgarh in January/February!!  Not just slightly chilly but downright freezing - it is well worth packing thermals, gloves and hat for the early morning drives in the park.  It is very hard to take a good photo when you can't feel your fingers!
  • Reviewed February 2010
    Anonymous

    TIGERS AND CRICKET SAFARI WITH PAUL GOLDSTEIN

    No words can quite describe the experience of your first tiger sighting.  This was a fantastic trip, the memories of which will stay with me forever.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without a shadow of the doubt the best moment of my trip was the second day when I was incredibly lucky to see a tigress with 3 of her cubs and watch them parading around performing for us for what seemed like at least 30 minutes.  This was an exceptional sighting and I feel incredibly blessed to have experienced this.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul and Balvinder did their utmost to make the week as successful as it could possibly be.  Paul genuinely wants everyone to have the best sightings possible and Balvinder always had a smile on his face and wanted everyone to have a positive experience of India.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Change all of your money into the smallest denominations possible as you will need small notes to tip your leader at the end of each game drive.Take thermals as the morning game drives are extremely cold.  If you really feel the cold you may want to consider also bringing a down jacket.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be aware that there can be severe delays on the Indian railways (up to 24 hours delay or more).  There is not a huge amount of flexibility built into the itenary for this so if it is vital for you to return home on time you may need to consider leaving a day early in order for you to catch your flight.  Our group leaders were extremely helpful in arranging this, but nevertheless it was an unexpected complication.As a group we were extremely lucky with the tiger sightings that we had; most of us saw at least 1 tiger every day and the quality of the sightings was on the whole very good.  However, you should be prepared for the fact that you will not see tigers on every game drive and it takes some patience and time to be done in the park to get your sightings.
  • Reviewed February 2010
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: SEEFELD

    excellent holiday . good hotel .skiing excellent leadership excellent . company good

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    managing the epic last day

    What did you think of your group leader?

    roz was a very good leader . she involved the whole group which was large  [13] . it was very good to have an older woman leader [speaking as an older woman] and she was fitter than all the men ! She knew the area well and paced it jusr right . Long may she continue to lead exodus cross country [and walking] holidays

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    make sure you bring a swim suit fot the hotel swimming pool/sauna

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Seefeld was an excellent centre . It is at the centre of a network of cross country loipes and the bus service was excellent and not far from the hotel . The hotel alpina was very good . The swimmimg pool was lovely ,very warm and relaxing in the evening aftera day,s skiing .
  • Reviewed February 2010
    Anonymous

    CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: SEEFELD

    Great ski-ing based at a lovely hotel with easy access to the facilities of a lively resort.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ski-ing down through the forest in perfect snow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ros was great - she worked hard to make every day a great day's ski-ing.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you're hiring - make sure your boots aren't too tight!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As Insbruck is so close to Seefeld, it would have been nice to go by Thomsons from a regional airport and made one's own way from the airport to the hotel - would have saved a 300 mile trip to Gatwick!
  • Reviewed February 2010
    Anonymous

    MACHU PICCHU, TITICACA & THE AMAZON

    For me it was a totally amazing trip.  It was exactly as described in the brochure - and yet everything was fresh and surprising, Peru was wonderful, the colours, the people, the food, the ruins - I loved it.  Found myself smiling (even after lots of early morning starts) for the sheer pleasure of being in such a beautiful country and seeing so many extraordinary sights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all pretty inspiring but walking with one other person up Machu Picchu proper (the mountain is not usually shown in the tourist photos but offers miraculous views of the ruins) was a lifetime high - felt like we were on top of the world.  Lake Titicaca and our homestay on Amantani Island were also very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant.  Holger Davalos is a one-off!  He turned our trip from a busy travel itinerary into a voyage of discovery.  I'm not usually one for guided tours, but he was just the best.  He managed the whole trip (and the group) perfectly - understood when to push us, when to step back, when to relax, and when to take over.  By the time we saw our first ruin, we had started to absorb bits of philosophy, history, geography without even realising it.  He never patronised or overloaded, was fun to be with and yet a consummate professional.  He gave me the feeling that I could shape my own trip, that I was not a tourist but a guest, and that Peru had everything to offer, which it does. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the one day walk into Machu Picchu if you can.  The first week of the trip is very well structured in terms of helping you to acclimatise, and our guide really helped by teaching us how to walk at altitude.  Take decent walking socks into the Amazon with you - I only had thin socks thinking it would be hot and had to borrow thicker ones for wearing inside the wellington boots we all had to use for hiking.  Getting the right balance between when to pay in sol and when in dollars was tricky and you may need to think quite carefully about how to make sure the Peruvians get the best deal from each transaction.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't go on this trip for a rest!  It is busy, there are some long days of travelling and many early starts.  But as an introduction to all that Peru has to offer it scored pretty high for me.  And if you get an amazing local guide like we had, your trip is made.  I had a great time, learned a huge amount, felt excited, challenged, alive, exhausted - the perfect adventure. 
  • Reviewed January 2010
    Anonymous

    NORWEGIAN WINTER ACTIVITY WEEK

    An extremely relaxed holiday - there's nothing else there. The hosts are generous and create a real family atmosphere andthe activites push novices just enough to feel challenging but not so much that anyone gets left behind.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Fireworks in the snow at midnight on New Year's.  Or the stunning mountains glowing pink in the sunset when viewed from the centre of a lake.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Philip is brilliant - he's got a huge passion for letting others discover the activities he loves.  His family's great.  He is not at all commercial, meaning that it's a clean break from professional life and straight into enjoying Norway.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take what you need as it's 1 and a half hours to any shop at all.  You'll be extremely well fed but probably only spend any money at the airport. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fantastic, warm (most of the time) and friendly holiday - and I was better at all the activites than I expected.  I even caught a fish!
  • Reviewed January 2010
    Anonymous

    EGYPTIAN DISCOVERER

    A well thought-out itinerary, covering all Egypt's main historical sites.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Karnak is undoubtedly one of the great wonders of the world:  I thought so 25 years ago, and I had the same feeling again.The Nile cruise was another high-spot, the traditional way of life along the banks  contrasting with the bustle of the towns.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Khaled really made the trip as far as I was concerned.   I had read quite a lot about Egypt since my previous visit, but having a genuine (and practising) Egyptologist as our guide brought everything to life in a way which I had not experienced before.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't hesitate - just go!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Red Sea visit at the end was pleasant, but a bit of an anti-climax.   Siwah oasis instead, perhaps?